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The Tallest Part of the Arch

Curated by: Marcela Pardo Ariza 

February 15 – March 30, 2019

Southern Exposure

San Francisco, CA

The keystone is the final stone placed during the construction of an arch. This indispensable piece—both the tallest and the farthest from the base—holds all of the stones together, locking the arch into a structurally sound configuration. Similarly, our social keystones are those who dwell in the in-between spaces, who bear weight and hold together our social structure. The social keystone facilitates an unlikely translation; it provokes a new sound; it proposes a distinct imaginary. It gives me hope. The tallest part of the arch is resilient, witty, poetically political. 


Through writing, photography, video, ceramics, and music, The Tallest Part of the Arch is an ode to the uppermost point of the social arch. The arch is molded by the subjects that are not pure but lavishly mixed, plurally hybrid, luxuriously aligned with one another—those who have migrated, hold multiple identities, assimilate strategically and forcefully. Those who are undefinable, whose own existence is an extension of solidarity.


Whether putting on makeup while crossing the border, eroticizing historical monuments, humanizing the stories of those who have been forced out of a country, or in the magical inexactitude of translation, stories of migration told through objects, the dichotomy of fresh cut flowers for the dead, or apocalyptic fashion of survival, the artists and writers of this exhibition use their role as keystones to remind us of the essential interdependence of all the stones and call on us to build more thoughtful, empathetic, and collaborative arches together.


Susana Eslava Saenz 

Jamil Hellu 

Humanizando la Deportación Archive*

(Videos edited by: Aida Lizalde)

Javier Ocampo

Maria Paz 

Purin Phanichphant 

Cristina Victor 


Jackie Valle

Juliana Delgado Lopera

Ángel Rafael Vázquez-Concepción

Jovanna Venegas


 Xuxa Santamaria 

DJ Sessy Papi Chula 

Cafecito y Cubilete by Amy Vázquez

March 7, 2019


Juan Carlos Rodriguez Rivera


Minoosh Zomorodinia 

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